Several years ago, my daughter’s teacher called her on speakerphone for the class to say hi when she had been out for several consecutive days. This simple 30 second phone call made her day! After seeing the impact personally of reaching out to a sick student, I have tried my best as a teacher to do the same.
Smartphones make this extremely easy to do and the time is well spent when you understand the positive impact this makes on the child who is absent.
On Valentine’s Day, my class had a classmate that had been out for 3 days and we knew would also not be in attendance the following day. I contacted her parents through email to find a good contact phone number and time to call. They offered Skype. I am personally a FaceTime user, but did have a Skype account established, so I said ok. We set a time and our class phoned through.
It was a positive experience for all. It made my sick student’s day to see that all of her friends cared about her and missed her. It was also great for the class to have the opportunity to see their friend, since she had been absent for several days. She was also missing a big party in first grade, so it gave everyone an opportunity to offer holiday wishes as well.
During the course of the video call, I mentioned her pillow. Such a simple statement at the time. I was just stating the obvious…her pink pillow was really quite cool! It was this simple statement that her father mentioned to me in an email after the call. He told me how much she loved hearing from us, but most of all how great it was that I loved her pillow!
We can get so caught up in the standards and reports and data and all of the ins and outs of technology implementation that I think it can be easy to forget about the pillows.
I had a colleague ask me today how to integrate an iPad into the classroom when there was only 1 iPad and many students. A certain pink pillow came to mind. Stay connected. It’s easy. And current technologies make it even easier.